Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Dengue fever outbreak in Tainan could tail off at month's end: CDC

Dengue fever outbreak in Tainan could tail off at month's end: CDC

Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Sunday that the outbreak of the dengue fever in Tainan, southern Taiwan could turn around at the end of this month. CDC Director-General Steve Kuo (???) said that although the outbreak of dengue fever in Tainan is serious, he can see light at the end of the tunnel. The number of dengue cases in Tainan had reached 4,884 as of Saturday, accounting for 88.13 percent of the country's total, a figure he described as serious. However, he noted that the 299 new cases in Tainan reported a day earlier was less than that of the previous day. The cases seen Sunday in the statistics contracted the disease about one or two weeks ago. "The centers will need to observe for one or two more weeks before it can be sure if the situation has turned around," he said, adding that the trend appears to be showing signs of a turnaround. If it turns out, however, that there is no turnaround, the centers will have to reconsider its strategy and take further action to deal with the situation, he said. He said that dengue fever is like a spark in forest fire, which can turn into a massive blaze, and that the key to fighting the disease is to "clear the breeding grounds," such as standing water, of the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Kou said Friday that spraying pesticide to kill mosquitoes is futile, because if even just two out of 10 mosquitoes survive the spray, they can still pass on the disease. He said that all local government heads face the same dilemma: If they do not order a spray, the public will consider them to be sitting idly by and doing nothing. He added that the spraying is basically just for show. Meanwhile, the CDC said the number of indigenous dengue fever cases since May had reached 5,542 as of Saturday, mainly in Tainan (4,884 cases) and Kaohsiung (571 cases). Other cities and counties have had far fewer cases, with Pingtung County reporting 20, New Taipei 15, Taichung 12, Taoyuan nine, Hsinchu seven and Chiayi six. Twenty-six mortalities from "suspected" dengue fever cases have been reported this year, 25 of which were in Tainan and one in Kaohsiung. Among them, 10 were confirmed to be dengue deaths and two were ruled out, with the cause of the other 14 cases yet to be determined. The CDC currently has not seen the need to set up a central command center in Tainan, although there have been calls from some quarters for such a center, Kuo said. He noted that a command center will only be set up if there is a need for communications between the central and local governments, if the Tainan city government makes a request and if the outbreak runs out of control. Taiwan has in the past 10-odd years set up command centers in the face of serious disease outbreaks, but Kuo said this was not a "good division of labor" between the central and local governments. (By Lung Pei-ning and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 09:46 GMT+08:00